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Your fave non-American breakfast food/meal?

The Italy thread inspired me! Breakfast traditions differ so much all across the world. Some of us think sweet and light, other savory, heavy. What's your favorite non-American breakfast food or meal?

Introduce me to some ideas from other countries!

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  1. An Amsterdam specialty I really like is poffertjes, fat little Dutch pancakes (about 2" diameter) served with powdered sugar or golden syrup. You can see a picture of them here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poffertjes

    1. Funny, I just posted about Gallo Pinto on a different thread as well (Frugal meals).. but I am really craving this Costa Rican staple. Black beans and rice, cooked together and always this particular purplish brown color. Served with huevos revueltos (scrambled) and a pinepple batido (smoothie). It's a breakfast I love, love love. Tastes even better when eaten at a table in a freshly raked sand-floored restaurant.

      3 Replies
      1. re: missoulagrace

        Went to Costa Rica on a high school trip for a couple of weeks. First couple of breakfasts of rice and beans we all had the "not again" attitude. We soon fell in love with rice and beans after eating them w/every meal. First breakfast at hotel in Monteverde (sp?), after a dawn walk through the rain forest got granola NOT rice and beans. Starving and tired (up all night due to a scorpion in bed) we demanded rice and beans and refused to eat the granola. Of course it was rude of us, but they never forgot to serve us rice and beans again.

          1. re: missoulagrace

            Good call! Love gallo pinto with lots & lots of Lizano!

          2. I don't know how authentic it is but I love the Irish breakfast served at pubs - different kinds of puddings/sausages, back bacon, beans, black bread, eggs and if it's st. patty's day we add Jameson to go with it :)

            1 Reply
            1. re: rockandroller1

              R&R1 you beat me to it!! There is nothing like Irish breakfast "pudding", black and white, the gamier the better. Love the sausage and rashers, beans and grilled tomato. Not to mention the black bread. My husband's family is Irish and live on a big farm. Fresh eggs, butter and fresh cream in my tea. And of course a few dabs of HP sauce. I can eat that at 8 a.m. and seriously not be hungry until 6 p.m.

            2. In Shanghai, breakfast is my favorite meal, taken on the street or at the humblest sit-down venue. Ideally, it'll be "xiaolong bao" (steamed dumplings) and/or "shengjian bao" (pan-fried dumplings) with a soup, either "xian doujiang" (savory soy milk) or "xiao huntun" (small wontons).


              1. Full English: sausages, bacon, fried bread, grilled tomatoes and mushrooms, Heinz beans, black pudding and two fried eggs

                Filipino: Longaniza sausage or homemade bacon, garlic fried rice, eggs, split pan de sal with Edam cheese, hot chocolate, or...wait for it...SPAM and eggs!

                Pakistani: Nihari, haleem or ekuri with bread, occasionally a little kheer or seviyan

                Dim sum: Shrimp dumplings, roast pork buns, soup dumplings, turnip cake, scallion pancakes

                Viennese: Soft-boiled eggs, croissant, müesli and Einspänner

                1 Reply
                1. re: JungMann

                  Thank you!
                  I had a Filipino breakfast after an extended evening of debauchery and just could NOT remember what those fantastic sausages were called!

                2. Barbacoa de Borrego - Maguey leaf wrapped pit baked central mexican lamb
                  Tacos de Canasta - sweated - ravioili like mini tacos of various fillings
                  Pan Dulce and Cafe de la Olla
                  Huevos a la Mexicana

                  ARRIBA MEXICO

                  1. Scrambled eggs with saltfish and onion (homemade roti on the side). A Guyanese friend has spoiled me for this.

                    1. There is this Indian flattened/beaten rice stuff called poha. There are different recipes, but basically in the way I make it, you fry some chopped potatoes and onions in a little oil in a wok, add in some peanuts, toss in the poha which has been soaked in water for a couple minutes and strained, then add in salt, a pinch of turmeric, curry leaves, cilantro, and chopped green chilies, then squeeze lemon juice on it and mix well. It is so simple but soooo yummy. I have it about once per week.

                      I also like the Indo-Pak chole bhatoora, hot and sour curried chickpeas garnished with freshly chopped onion, cilantro, and green chilies and the bhatoora is a deep fried flat bread which is somehow light and crispy. The bhatoora is a giant "poori" so you can have semolina halva poori at the same time. It is semolina fried in ghee and then seasoned with sugar, you scoop it up with your deep fried poori. Heart attack waiting to happen, I know, but so yummy...just for every once in a while.

                      And then stuffed paratha, I like aloo paratha or queema paratha with yoghurt and some kind of pickle.

                      Eat any of these too often though and you're bound to gain some weight. Not a slimmer's breakfast at all.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: luckyfatima

                        I lurve poha for breakfast! I usually do the soak and drain the night before, sprinkle it with spices and let it air dry on a towel overnight, then cook it in the morning. I have it with scrambled eggs, yummy combo, or maybe just some plain yogurt drained of its whey.

                        1. re: Miss Needle

                          This was my thought as well. With extra chilis for a serious wake-up call!

                          1. re: Miss Needle

                            yes! very much love pho in the morning. and on Anthony Bourdains suggestion, I've had it after a long night of drinking, and its a great cure for hang overs! ha ha!

                            1. re: CPunches

                              "I love the smell of.... pho.... in the morning."

                          2. Ochazuke. Green tea over rice with perhaps some dashi and trimmings (umeboshi, nori, crackers).

                            1. Give me a huge filipino breakfast anyday of the week- Jung Mann mentioned some of it already....add some beef tapa (cured beef strips)...it's way too much (whenever I do have it stateside or when i'm in the PI) but it's sooooooo good.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: teamuse

                                The German breakfasts our friend makes for us when we're there: dark and light bread, flatbread, rolls, butter, jam, cheeses, various meats (ham or liverwurst or others I don't even know the name of), quark, a boiled egg and endless cups of coffee. (I drink tea, which is not a German specialty, but who can be ungrateful?) That breakfast can hold us till 4 pm, when it's time for kaffeetrinken, always with cake, sometimes with whipped cream. We try to replicate it a little when we come home, which lasts for about 2 weeks, but we can't get some of the things, and at home, it's just too much! But wonderful!

                                1. re: BerkshireTsarina

                                  Yes, German breakfasts. Brotchen with good butter and cheese or meat. Brotchen with quark and plum butter (pflaumenmuss). Good German coffee. A lightly boiled egg eaten in an egg cup.

                                  1. re: shoo bee doo

                                    Pflaumenmuss! What a great memory, I lived in Germany in the '70s and had forgotten all about that wonderful stuff. Now I have to find me some in the States.

                              2. As a child- baked beans w/canadian bacon on toast.Only thing that my bf (Canadian) and I were allowed to cook in the mornings.

                                Is the meat, cheese, bread w/butter and jam, coffee a German breakfast? I've had this in Germany, Iceland, and the all-inclusives in Cancun (I assume that they are catering to the Europeans w/this).

                                I do enjoy the Italian/French of pastry/bread and coffee/chocolate but I find that need some protein in the morning if I want to make it to lunch.

                                1. Hong Kong-style jook with condiments, including fried bread
                                  Toast with cold baked beans (right from the can)
                                  Toast soldiers with Marmite, dipped in a soft boiled egg

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: k_d

                                    kd we should be eating buddies!
                                    the only thing i'd add is an overeasy egg with the baked beans and toast

                                    1. re: k_d

                                      Oh yeah, jook/congee! Forgot that one... With pitan (thousand year eggs) and pork.

                                    2. I generally Asian breakfasts: dumplings, porridges, etc. But otherwise, I'll take huevos rancheros or a la mexicana, or migas.

                                      1. No doubt about it, for me it would be a traditional Japanese breakfast - grilled fish, steamed rice, natto (fermented soy beans) w/raw egg, otsukemono (pickles) and misoshiru (miso soup) with green tea. It's a great way to start the day and gives you a good dose of high-quality protein, with none of the heavy starches (or for that matter dense protein sources) that can weigh you down.

                                        I'd have it every day if I could, but mornings are too often far too rushed. So now I do an abbreviated version combining just steamed rice and natto w/a raw egg. I do miss the grilled fish, but it's still a very satisfying meal.

                                        4 Replies
                                        1. re: cgfan

                                          My dad has this every morning for breakfast. (Or at least, miso soup, rice, and a kind of fish). I never have the time or energy, so the rest of us have a western style breakfast. It's my preference to do breads/cereals in the morning. But when I'm traveling within Japan, I like eating the region's specialties, and breakfast is usually included in the hotel fee, so I will eat the Japanese style breakfast with fish, regional specialties, etc.

                                          When I'm visiting my parents, I like miso soup enough that I typically have a serving of that, even with the western style breakfast I'm having.

                                          During the New Year holiday, I also like having mochi and condiments for breakfast.

                                          Finally, when I was in Vietnam, my favorite breakfast meal was their papaya salad served as street food. YUM! Truly amazing. . ..

                                          1. re: anzu

                                            Anzu-san, I make miso shiro for breakfast--in five minutes: put pot on stove, turn on heat. Take out fish stock (or just use water), hondashi, miso paste, block of smoked fish, napa or bok choy, tofu, lime, shoyu, sugar, green onion, ginger, and chives (38 seconds). Spoon into pot some congealed fish stock; sprinkle hondashi, bit of sugar, touch of soy. Cut and squeeze in half the lime, strip out and wash two napa or bok choy stalks and one green onion; cut napa perpendicular and green onion at extreme angle, toss all but green slices of napa and green onion into pot; cube and toss in tofu (2 minutes have passed). Quick grate and toss in some ginger. Re-bag and return to ref the rest of the napa/bok choy, green onion, hondashi, ginger, tofu, sugar, soy; plastic wrap the half of lime; put away. Cut a couple of slices of the smoked fish and toss in (three minutes have passed). Re-wrap the fish and return to ref. Bring to low boil. Stir in miso paste. Toss in the green napa and green onion parts that had been set aside Serve topped with cut chives (less than five minutes).

                                            1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                              Wow. Your version has much more stuff than mine does. I never put lime in mine, though I can see how that can be refreshing.

                                              Yes, yes, I know. I know how easy it is, but somehow, I never get around to it. Part of the problem is that it would actually take longer, b/c most of the time, the tofu is in a plastic thing. So then I have to take it out, chop it into tiny pieces, then find a container big enough to fit the remainder plus water to cover. That alone would take 3 or 4 minutes. Then if I do it the way my parents do, the age has to be boiled to do abura-nuki, etc. (another 8 or so minutes, plus time to chop the age), and I just can't be bothered in the morning.

                                              But the other reason I rarely make it is b/c I have one smallish pot, and miso soup is typically at least 4 servings. I don't like microwaving miso soup, which means that whenever I make miso soup, I just store it in the original pot I cooked it in, so my "boiling water" (and most frequently-used) pot is out of commission till I finish the miso soup, which typically takes 3-4 days. The pot also takes up a lot of fridge space. Anyway, it's complicated. :) I don't have room for another pot, either.

                                              1. re: anzu

                                                Don't have room for another pot? Well, with one in the refrigerator, you can store the second one where you store the first one when it's not in the refrigerator. How many ways can you spell "rationalization," anzu-san? '-)

                                        2. Saltfish and Ackee with boiled green bananas. Breakfast of Champions!

                                          1. Fresh hot tamales in Mexico and Guatemala.

                                            Empanadas and coffee on Sunday mornings in southern Bolivia.

                                            Miso soup at home.

                                            Pho in Vietnam.

                                            Pan de yuca (when it can be found) and coffee in Colombia.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                              My favorite breakfast in Oakland was coffee at home, followed by tamales and hot-cinnamon from a street vendor on the way to the train.

                                            2. Fromage blanc, fresh fruit, strong French coffee, and croissants for breakfast in Tahiti.

                                              1. Fresh croissants in Paris. Beyond compare. When in Egypt, fuul. It's sort of like refried beans to which onions, hot peppers and other condiments are added to order.

                                                1. I'm from the Middle East, and food there is such an integrated part of the culture. Breakfast is no different. As family and friends are so important there, breakfast tends to be a spread with many different options, so everyone can eat together. A typical breakfast where I am from may include some zaatar with olive oil, fried tomatoes and/or okra, eggs baked in pita bread, hummus, ful (mashed fava beans with spices and olive oil), local cheeses, tons of pita bread to eat it all with, and always, always, tea.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: Luna4

                                                    Luna, you read my mind! I miss the breakfast spreads from when I was in Israel! Mint tea and hummus on pita is a simple and light breakfast that I loved.

                                                  2. My husband and I love to have a mediterranean inspired breakfast - from my year in Greece and his in Turkey.
                                                    Feta cheese, hard boiled egg, cucumber, tomatoes, toast, olives, a few slices of salami, thick yogurt, some seasonal fruit (tinned peaches in the winter).

                                                    Love the dim sum on occasion too - but that's more of a brunch.

                                                    A hotel I frequent on business has an excellent breakfast buffet, with a large Japanese breakfast section. When I'm there,I love to have some hot steamed rice with raw egg, grilled fish, tsukemono, and miso soup. I didn't develop a taste for natto like cgfan, but I do agree the simple proteins are a great start to the day - energized and not bloated.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: MrsCris

                                                      Every once in a while I just have to have a southern Turkish breakfast: a good crusty sourdough bread, some velvety soft feta cheese (you have to keep it submerged in water or milk in the refrigerator, which is the traditional way to store it), some black olives, green seedless grapes and coffee. I can no longer drink my favorite Turkish tea (tomurçuk Çay Kurumu) because I'm now allergic to bergamot, which means no Earl Grey either! But I do make decent Turkish coffee to go with the breakfast. Ideally it is enjoyed on the patio in the morning sunshine.

                                                    2. Fish cakes and beans, very Yankee, very unAmerican.(Maine)
                                                      Herring(w/ or w/o sour cream) on black rye(Russia and Nordic Countries)
                                                      Bolivian saltenas
                                                      Bolivian fish stew
                                                      C-rations, inhuman (Viet Nam)
                                                      Spam in the can, subhuman(Somewhere between North and South Viet Nam)

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. old vietnamese breakfasts that my family use to eat are sticky rice w/ cha lua, various banh mi, chao (jook/congee), occasionally pho....so many more but i dont know what they would be called in english...

                                                        1. Standard range of hawker fare in Singapore - from many varieties of noodles to kaya toast to nasi lemak etc...

                                                          1. Anyone try beer and tomato juice? Its got at least two food groups.

                                                            4 Replies
                                                            1. re: porker

                                                              One of our local breweries (Anderson Valley) produces an Oatmeal Stout which used to be emblazoned with the slogan "It's not just for breakfast anymore."

                                                              1. re: Xiao Yang

                                                                OMG founder's breakfast stout (one of my favorite beers ever)

                                                                but to continue with the theme I enjoyed my korean breakfast this morning: jook with soy sauce pickled sesame leaves, green onions, and garlic. Spicy raw squid marinated in lots of korean chiles, and lots of stir fried baby anchovies with korean twist peppers in soy sauce.

                                                                too bad the ac was off and it was like 80 degrees out...jook on a hot day is not advised.

                                                                1. re: bitsubeats

                                                                  the thing i've noticed about my family's korean breakfasts is that they're exactly the same as our korean lunches, and korean dinners...rice, soup, some kind of meat, and banchan...

                                                                  i think that's why i've never felt the need to have certain foods at certain times during the day...pizza, fried chicken, matzoh ball soup, spaghetti, salad etc. all seemed like perfectly acceptable breakfast foods...

                                                              2. re: porker

                                                                Add Worcestershire sauce and you have the fish course as well.

                                                              3. not super-exciting or all that unique, but i got hooked on muesli with yogurt & honey when i was in australia.

                                                                1. Its either a western omlette, homemade congee, or salty soy milk with all the fixings.

                                                                  1. When in the Yucatan, I just can't resist a torta de cochinita; beautiful crusty roll split, dipped in roasting pan juices, stuffed with hand picked roasted pork, topped with a fiery onion salsa and washed down with a coke in the bottle

                                                                    1. When in England, Australia, or South Africa:
                                                                      Marmite and cheese on toast with a cup of tea.

                                                                      1. Dosa or iddly with sambar (I like dosas plain in the a.m., no filling)

                                                                        Most types of breakfast soups, including pho and pao4 tsai4 (a soup made from stewing leftovers from the night before in water or broth. peasant food and wonderful), very lightly sweetened mung bean soup

                                                                        And lately, I've been eating a lot of broiled fish in the a.m. for some reason. I pop it in the oven before jumping into the shower and it's at a perfect state of doneness when I get out. Not sure what cuisine that's true to, though. Coastal African? Japanese?

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: cimui

                                                                          Another Mexican themed item: chilaquiles verdes (oh I do love me some tomatillos and stale tortillas in the morning). When I get too homesick for the "real" ones I remember from travelling I make them myself but it's still hard to find a good substitute for queso fresco and crema here in Vancouver. BTW this is also a great hangover food...

                                                                        2. thai rice soup

                                                                          japanese breakfast (sans natto) tho i never actually have it

                                                                          indian morning items like upma or pngal